Usually, getting secrets out of Nintendo is like pulling teeth — try getting them to admit where the Virtual Console on Switch is — but with the new Zelda game Breath of the Wild, they’ve decided to be completely open. Today the company posted a three-part series of videos on YouTube going behind the scenes of what many are calling the best Zelda game ever made.
It started with an admission that the Zelda series was getting stale and that some of the conventions that people had begun to take for granted had to be thrown out. New ideas were proposed, and everything was on the table initially. One of the wilder proposals was that aliens would invade Hyrule and start carpetbombing the meadow (you can see a prototype of this in the video above).
The second video, “Open-Air Concept,” deals with the development of the idea they settled on: that the new game would have no limits to where you could go and what you could do…sort of like the original NES game. In fact, the team created a prototype of the new Hyrule rendered in the same 2D style to get a feel for what they wanted to accomplish.
There are also segments revealing how they created the score and sound effects, including the precise tools needed to make the sound of a Bokoblin picking his nose.
The third and final part reveals how the story and characters were crafted. The general plot isn’t any different from most other titles in the series, summed up in four words (Ganon’s Back, Save Zelda) but it’s been interpreted in a wild variety of different ways throughout the series. The challenge wasn’t figuring out the goal, but how the story would be told this time. Zelda was actually being revised all throughout development, which is why we didn’t see her in early trailers.
There are also abandoned ideas for the overworld that would have been interesting, such as tiny villages populated by tiny people. Link would have to gain the ability to shrink to visit them, similar to Minish Cap.
The three videos equal a half-hour of content. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is out now for Nintendo Switch and Wii U.